Kendrick Lamar has been quiet long enough.
The Pulitzer Prize-winning rapper posted a lengthy statement on a new website, oklama.com, that indicates his next album will be his last for Top Dawg Entertainment, the label he’s been with since his 2011 debut, “Section.80.”
“As I produce my final TDE album, I feel joy to have been a part of such a cultural imprint after 17 years. The Struggles. The Success. And most importantly, the Brotherhood. May the Most High continue to use Top Dawg as a vessel for candid creators. As I continue to pursue my life’s calling,” Lamar wrote.
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Fans have anticipated a new record from Lamar for months, even speculating last year that he was about to leave the label. Lamar, 34, dismissed the claims and posted a video on the Instagram account of Top Dawg CEO, Anthony Tiffith, to proclaim his loyalty.
But Friday afternoon, Tiffith’s Instagram acknowledged Lamar’s impending departure.
“With this being Dot’s last album on TDE, this is more of a VICTORY LAP, a celebration,” he wrote, referring to Lamar by his old stage name, K. Dot. “I know he will be successful in whatever it is he decides to do and will have our FULL support.”
In 2018, Lamar wrote and produced 14 songs for the soundtrack to “Black Panther,” receiving kudos and scooping up another Grammy for “King’s Dead” (best rap performance)
But Lamar’s artistry hasn’t been on full display since his 2017 multi-platinum smash, “Damn,” which earned a best rap album Grammy (he competed for album of the year, but lost in a crowded field to Bruno Mars’ “24K Magic”).
Lamar’s website posting also references an apparent life of quietude and contemplation as he mentions going “months without a phone” and time spent writing, listening and “collecting old Beach cruisers.” He reports that “love, loss and grief have disturbed my comfort zone, but the glimmers of God speak through my music and family.”
Lamar’s contemplations include a hopeful bent as well: “There’s beauty in completion,” he writes. “And always faith in the unknown.”
He signed his words from, Oklama.
Lamar is scheduled to headline the first day of the Day N Vegas weekend festival on Nov. 12, but his performance is billed as a retrospective (“From ‘Section .80” to “Damn,” the poster reads). It is the only live date on his calendar this year.
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